Japanese civic leaders fly with 374 AW

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Tristan Truesdell
  • 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Over 20 Japanese civic leaders from the community surrounding Yokota Air Base took to the skies in C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 374th Airlift Wing for a civic leader flight April 10.

Civic leaders representing the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, local police and fire stations, and the Yokota Friendship Clubs received a familiarization flight in a C-130J Super Hercules to witness first-hand Yokota’s airlift capabilities.

“This flight offered an opportunity to showcase our air operations to figures in our area to include a local mayor, members of the defense bureau, local police and fire department personnel with the Japanese community,” said Capt. Katherine Brechbuhl, 36th Airlift Squadron assistant chief of tactics.

The Air Force civic leader program serves as an opportunity to build connections and bridge the gap between the military and local community. The community leaders and partners of Yokota Air Base can act as influential advocates to garner support, mobilize resources and increase overall community awareness of the airlift operations that make up the 374th AW.

“Presenting our mission to our community leaders here in Japan is key,” said Master Sgt. Christian Checotah, 374th Operations Support Squadron superintendent. “It promotes transparency and trust by allowing civic leaders to understand our objectives and underlying issues. Engaging with these leaders may also open doors to valuable collective opportunities to enhance our impact through these strategic partnerships.”

Through this familiarization flight, the community leaders witnessed the daily airlift operations and the intricacies involved in each mission with a wrap-up involving a scenic view of Mt. Fuji through the open cargo ramp door. Strengthening alliances and partnerships with host nations, such as Japan, furthers the unified goal of safeguarding a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

“Providing our partners and community leaders with this hands-on experience and flight of our daily mission operations is truly rewarding,” said Checotah. “It took extensive coordination among various agencies to make this event happen, but their smiles throughout were a testament to its success, and I’m thrilled to have been part of it.”